Jenipapo Andalusite

Jenipapo Andalusite are rare, color-blended gemstones from the Jenipapo district of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. Displaying an attractive mosaic of kiwis, cherries, chocolates, golds, oranges, and lemons, Jenipapo Andalusite is geologically scare, and despite being relatively unknown, is ideal for everyday jewelry.

Hardness 7.5
Refractive Index 1.627 - 1.649
Relative Density 3.05 - 3.20
Enhancement None

Beauty

Incredibly beautiful, Jenipapo Andalusite is an extremely rare gemstone with an undeniably unique appearance and character. Displaying an attractive blend of primary kiwis and cherries, with secondary chocolates, golds, oranges, and lemons, Jenipapo Andalusite is medium-toned with a very good transparency (which is hard to find), an eye-clean clarity, the highest clarity quality grade for colored gemstones as determined by the world’s leading gemological laboratories, and optimal lapidary (good shape, finish, outline, profile and proportions) that affords maximum brilliance and beauty.

In most strongly pleochroic gemstones (e.g. Kunzite and Tanzanite) lapidaries orientate the gem to display the single most attractive color. Andalusite, like Blue Green Tourmaline, is the complete opposite. As all its hues are attractive, Andalusite is orientated to display a colorful mosaic pattern throughout its facets. Longer cuts (e.g. octagons and ovals) tend to show color splits towards the ends, while shorter cuts (e.g. rounds and squares) have less clear color demarcations.

As color preferences vary in the marketplace, and Andalusite is occasional faceted to emphasize its oranges, pinks and reds, tone (lightness or darkness of color) and saturation (intensity of color) is more important than the actual hues displayed.

Displaying an attractive mix of brown, golden, green, orange, red (pink), and yellow hues, Andalusite is named after the southern Spanish province of Andalusia, the site of its discovery. An aluminum silicate, Andalusite is a rare polymorph (same composition, but different crystal structure) with two other aluminum silicates, Kyanite and Sillimanite. The difference between each is due to pressure and temperature variations during their formation. Rare, attractive and unusual, Andalusite is often favorably compared to Alexandrite even though technically, Andalusite is not a true color changing gemstone (different colors displayed in different light sources). Andalusite’s different colors are caused by pleochrosim (different colors displayed in different directions) and are visible all at once, in any light source, due to the way the gem has been faceted. A well-cut Andalusite is incredibly beautiful and despite Alexandrite comparisons, actually looks unlike any other gemstone. Varieties of Andalusite include Viridine (Manganandalusite), a bright green opaque gem from Arizona colored by manganese and iron) and Chiastolite, a variety that contains dark cruciform inclusions and is frequently worn as an amulet due to its symbolism.

Rarity

While the Brazilian states of Espirito Santo and Minas Gerais are the major producers, Andalusite gemstones also come from Burma, Mozambique, Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Despite being beautiful, durable and well-suited to jewelry, Andalusite is comparatively unknown.

Jenipapo Andalusite is from the Jenipapo district of Itinga (Jequitinhonha valley) a municipality (município) in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais (‘general mines’ in Portuguese). Geologically scarce, Andalusite crystals are rarely found with good structure, most appearing as water-warn pebbles that occur in relatively small quantities.

Difficult to find in sizes above 3 carats, Jenipapo Andalusite’s rarity is further accentuated by faceting challenges, as optimal lapidary takes time and usually results in lower yields. Jenipapo Andalusite is also one of the few gemstones that are not enhanced.

Durability & Care

Jenipapo Andalusite is an excellent gemstone (Mohs’ Hardness: 7.5) well-suited to everyday wear. Always store Jenipapo Andalusite carefully to avoid scuffs and scratches. Clean with gentle soap and lukewarm water, scrubbing behind the gem with a very soft toothbrush as necessary. After cleaning, pat dry with a soft towel or chamois cloth.

Map Location

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